Dining out has always been a staple feature of the dating scene; however, with the explosive popularity of dating apps and websites, restaurants are now also the stage for potential meet-cutes. There is a lot of pressure and anxiety associated with meeting someone in person for the first time after establishing a virtual connection. Here are things you should know in order to promote a positive experience for your guests.
Know the Game
There are certain signs that a couple is meeting for the first time. The most obvious, is that when they first see each other, they say each other’s name in a questioning manner: “Mark?” Or they may hug and say, “nice to meet you!” There are a host of other scenarios that can clue you in. The most important thing is that your staff be ready to note these types of situations in order to promote a good experience where possible.
Be a Third Wheel
If your staff becomes aware of a first date scenario, they should be extra attentive. This is particularly important if it seems like the conversation is lagging and the couple is having a hard time connecting in person. Sometimes, a shared experience or laugh with a third person is enough to get the conversation flowing. Get creative on ways to ease your guests into a comfortable situation.
You may be wondering, “As a restauranteur, why should it matter to me if my guests have a good date?” Good question. The reason is simple. Good experience means repeat patronage. If your guests spark a romance in your restaurant, it will hold a significant place in their hearts. Conversely, if things go south, the fact that your staff was extra attentive will help to encourage your guests to come back, even after a lack-luster date.
Significant life experiences are often centered around a meal. As a restaurant, you are in the business of framing memories as much as you are in the business of providing meals. Don’t forget the big picture.
Challenge: Identify a charismatic server who you can encourage to pay special attention to your guests who are on dates.
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